A video posted on Facebook showed almost 150 rioters dressed in all black or camouflage and wearing ski masks entering the site of Atlanta's future Public Safety Training Facility, also known as Cop City by those protesting its development. They threw commercial fireworks at police officers immediately upon entering, the Daily Mail reported.
"Some of the group could later be seen gathering riot shields, as they motioned for others to join them," the outlet noted.
Other footage posted online showed the rioters setting a police surveillance tower on fire, causing smoke to billow nearby. After that, the group proceeded to throw Molotov cocktails at a construction vehicle and fled the scene as it was left burning, the outlet noted further.
"A group of violent agitators used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack," the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement. "They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks at police officers.
"The agitators destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism. The illegal actions of the agitators could have resulted in bodily harm," the statement continued.
The department insisted that officers on the scene "exercised restraint and used non-lethal enforcement to conduct arrests," though clearly, as many believe, they would have been justified at using more force -- perhaps even deadly force considering the Antifa mob was armed with lethal Molotov cocktails.
"With protests planned for the coming days, the Atlanta Police Department in collaboration with law enforcement partners have a multi-layered strategy that includes reaction and arrest," the department's statement noted further. The Atlanta Police Department asks for this week's protests to remain peaceful."
Police and construction equipment were assailed with Molotov cocktails, commercial-grade fireworks, bricks and large rocks, authorities said.
A construction tractor was set ablaze, with smoke billowing into the air, footage from the area shows. At least four other fires burned in and around the fenced site as people dressed in black swarmed both sides of a police barricade before additional officers arrived, surveillance videos released by the Atlanta Police Department show.
Following the incident, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) announced that she is sponsoring a bill to declare Antifa as a terrorist organization.
"This is domestic terrorism. It was planned for weeks and announced on social media. Antifa are domestic terrorists, and I'm introducing my bill to officially declare them a terrorist organization on Tuesday," she wrote on Monday, on Twitter.
On Sunday night, protesters claimed that police arrived at a music festival being held at the site and surrounded the attendees as the sun went down. They allegedly threatened legal observers with arrest. Photos and videos taken at the scene showed police forcing people to the ground and placing them into police vans. Officers have had to deal with thugs and terrorists at the construction site for months.
"Seven of those arrests emanated from a violent riot in downtown Atlanta on January 21, sparked by Teran's death. Several had ties to Antifa and were charged with domestic terrorism and criminal trespass," the Daily Mail reported further.
The Atlanta Police Department provided a list on Monday that showed 35 people had been detained, with two of them being from Georgia and others coming from as far as Maine and Arizona in the US, as well as Canada, and France. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will prosecute the charges.
They should get the maximum prison sentence allowed to send a message that this kind of nonsense is no longer going to be tolerated.